Northern Colorado and the Western Slope will claim larger shares of Colorado’s population as the state adds 3 million new residents over the next three and a half decades, according to state forecasts.
Greeley and Fort Collins will more than double in population and the Western Slope will grow by two-thirds by 2050, the State Demography Office predicts, while Denver, Boulder, Pueblo and the central mountain resorts will grow at slower rates. Also, Colorado Springs will overtake a built-out Denver as the state’s largest city.
Between 2015 and 2050, Colorado will add the equivalent of another metro Denver, on its way to 8.46 million residents. Though it’s a lot of people, the state’s rate of growth actually is predicted to slow during that period as the baby boomer generation moves on.
State and local officials use the forecasts to plan for growth, a hot topic as Colorado’s roads, housing market and environment strain from an influx of out-of-state migrants.
The portion of the state’s population along the Front Range is not expected to change significantly from its current 83.5 percent. What will change is where new households settle along the Front Range, and across more rural areas of Colorado, some of which are losing population.
The Denver and Boulder metro areas will add 1.39 million people, the most of any region, a gain of 45.4 percent. But other regions will add residents at an even faster clip, which will push the metro Denver-Boulder share of the state population from 56.3 percent of the total in 2015 to 52.7 percent by the midcentury mark.
“It really is tied to jobs by industry and how those are forecast to grow in the state and country as well as population by age,” said State Demographer Elizabeth Garner. “We also make some assumptions regarding commuting. Weld has been a large commuter shed for the Denver metro and Larimer areas.”
The northern Front Range, which covers Weld and Larimer counties, is forecast to gain 660,530 people by 2050, doubling its 2015 population of 617,401. The 107 percent surge will take that region’s share of the state population from 11.3 percent to 15.1 percent.
Weld, which now has about 50,000 fewer people than Larimer, catches up by 2025 and then races ahead, gaining 191,000 more people by 2050. About one in 19 Coloradans currently lives in Weld County. By 2050, one in 12 will.
El Paso County, home to Colorado Springs, will gain …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – News